Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 143–161 | Cite as

Beyond Higher Education as We Know it: Gesturing Towards Decolonial Horizons of Possibility

  • Sharon SteinEmail author


This article addresses the conceptual challenges of articulating the ethical–political limits of ‘higher education as we know it’, and the practical challenges of exploring alternative formations of higher education that are unimaginable from within the dominant imaginary of the higher education field. This article responds to the contemporary conjuncture in which possible futures have been significantly narrowed, and yet these possibilities also appear increasingly unsustainable and unethical. It invites scholars of higher education to rethink the epistemological and ontological frames within which most imaginaries and institutions of higher education are embedded. If we fail to denaturalize these frames, then efforts to pluralize possible higher education futures will risk reproducing existing conceptual limitations and enduring colonial harms.


Higher education Decolonization Modernity Ethics Field-imaginary 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of School Psychology and Educational Leadership, College of EducationIdaho State UniversityPocatelloUSA

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